It is an undeniable fact that dieting is hard. Really hard. Whether you're hoping to drop a few pounds to prepare for an important event or completely change your lifestyle, dieting can seem like an impossible uphill struggle. Changing your mindset, however, can make an uphill dieting expedition seem more like an adventurous hike. In this guide, we explain what a mindset is and offer top tips for changing your mindset to ensure your diet is a success...
Why is having a positive mindset important for dieting?
Without a positive mindset, you may feel like you are constantly losing a battle when dieting. The battle against yourself. A positive mindset will also help you to love your body and remain motivated throughout your diet.
Top tips for changing your mindset whilst dieting
1. Change 'have to' to 'get to'
Instead of thinking 'ugh, I have to exercise today' change your mindset to 'I get to exercise today'. This will help you to appreciate your body and appreciate the fact you have the time and ability to take care of yourself. This way of thinking can be used throughout your diet; for example, instead of telling your friends 'I have to eat a salad for lunch' explain to them 'I’ve found all these new foods to try'. While this may seem unusual at first, you'll soon get into the habit of reframing negative or stressful thoughts into exciting opportunities.
2. Think of the future
Often people fail diets because they are unable to resist the instant gratification of eating unhealthy foods or skipping exercise. In order to ensure you do not do this, have a clear reason in your head why you want to diet. Visualise this reason into a mental image and every time you are tempted to cheat on your diet - which trust us, will happen - think of this mental image. Your mental image, for example, could be you looking stunning in your dream wedding dress or could simply be you living a happier, healthier life surrounded by your children and family.
3. Focus on small acts
If you try to make a huge dramatic change to your lifestyle, such as cutting out all foods containing sugar or exercising for an hour every day without fail, it will be almost impossible for you to maintain a positive mindset for the duration of your diet. Focus on making small, sustainable changes, and ensure you take the time to celebrate your successes. For example, if you managed to work out 3 times during the week and only ate chocolate on the weekend, treat yourself to a small present or a long, luxurious bath you don't usually have time for.
4. Don't use food as a reward
From a young age, we are taught food is a reward. While our parents may have thought they were being kind by giving us sweets for behaving at school, this actually enforces an unhealthy mindset. Rewarding ourselves with food, such as treating ourselves to a takeaway after eating salad all week, forms an unhealthy emotional connection between certain foods and feeling good. This mindset will then cause us to crave junk foods and unhealthy treats when we are not feeling as positive, in search of that good feeling. Ensure you eat a balanced diet, giving yourself treats periodically, rather than when we feel we 'deserve' them.